Looking through my photos I came across this picture. It’s a sign outside the Church of Ireland in Ballymeena, Co. Antrim.
I love the contrasts within it. The notice board looks weathered and mossy. The reference to podcasts very recent. The quote from Genesis is both old and new. It is in English. Growing up, in rural Ireland I only ever associated church notice boards like this with American protestantism as demonstrated to me by The Simpsons. It is, it seems, a practice alive and well in Northern Ireland.
The image is a reminder of the beauty of the world. There is an edge to it that I find slightly uncomfortable. It reminds me of the argument for the existence of a creator-designer God: the world is too beautiful and complex to exist without intelligent design. I personally don’t hold with the notion of a personal God, creating the universe with intention. However, what I love in this image is the peas on the pod. We as people are essentially alike.
This image raises many questions for me.
Why is there a message outside a church? Is it to call people in or to encourage them to reflect on the wonder of existence?
What was the tape used for? It’s on the outside of the glass. How many notices were posted there?
The message in the image is fresh and green. Is that a conscious choice? Is the positive message particular to this individual chapel or all of the church of Ireland.
What do you see?